An employer-employee relationship built on trust is one of the most important attributes of any successful business. Creating a strong connection and building effective communication with your employees is what businesses strive to achieve. Businesses who are successful in establishing a point-of-contact with their workforce and communicate their company’s policies and procedures in an effective tone are more likely to avoid potential in-house conflicts and misunderstandings. An employee handbook serves as a blueprint that helps employees know what they can expect from the company as a whole.
What Is An Employee Handbook?
An employee handbook is an important tool that communicates its rules and outlines its policies, procedures, and expectations. A well-written handbook is essential for kicking-off an effective communication and creating a robust relationship with your employees. In short, it helps employees know that what the company expects from them is deemed important. On the contrary, an employee handbook helps companies know that their employees are on the same page. New hires are generally given a copy of an employee handbook on their first day and important forms to sign, acknowledge, and agree to the terms. A well-crafted employee manual highlights the important aspects of the business that are mostly HR concentrated. These help companies avoid potential conflicts and prevent costly errors and misunderstandings.
Why Have An Employee Handbook?
All of your employees (new and old) must have an understanding of your company’s policies and procedures in-depth. They may be hard to comprehend initially, but the employee must read them thoroughly. Employees need to abide by everything stated in the handbook if they want to be considered responsible employees.
An employee handbook shows that the company treats every employee equally, and the rules apply to everyone. Whatever the company intends to include in the handbook must be well-structured and promote the employees’ interests. This will eventually create a positive culture and safe work environment for every individual. Companies can protect themselves from lawsuits, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, gender biases, and much more.
Provisions Required By Law
Drafting an employee handbook is quite an undertaking. Business leaders need to bring attorneys into the loop before writing a handbook, which means that you must become familiar with local and federal employment laws. Some businesses have operations in multiple states, which means they need to abide by local and federal policies providing them legal grounds for drafting different handbooks for employees in each state. Why? Because each state has unique employment laws, and companies are required to abide by them. The policies that you need to adhere to in an employee handbook by law include medical leave policies (for a serious health condition, childbirth, and more), equal employment opportunities, non-discrimination policies, staff’s compensation policies, and more.
General Clauses Every Handbook Should Include
- It is important to understand that the handbook highlights the business’s crucial areas that employees need to abide by. Agreeing to the form means that the employee will uphold the company’s rules and policies—it makes no promises on continued employment. This indicates that the handbook is not a contract, and this disclaimer must be included in the handbook.
- The policies of the company are always subject to change. It must be mentioned that policies can change anytime with or without notice, as the company deems appropriate and necessary.
- An employee acknowledgment page must be included, which will let the company know that its employees are aware of its policies, rules, and procedures.
What Else Does An Employee Handbook Cover?
Depending on the company’s size, nature, and location, you’re required to include the company’s perspective on certain matters. Since the employee manual has to communicate the company’s policies and procedures, it must be productive and communicative enough to impact the employees. An employee handbook must also cover employee policies, employee benefits, bonuses policies, paid-time-off policies, company’s history, employee evaluation/disciple/termination policies, office procedures, employee behavior, abiding by SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), and more.
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